Dynamic Budgets Case Study
California Medical Association
Stephanie Valencia, Controller and CPA
The California Medical Association (CMA) is a non-profit organization representing physicians of the state of California. CMA serves more than 43,000 members in all modes of practice and specialties.
CMA managed budgets with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and templates for years. The time it would take the controller to create templates, gather budget information from various departments, and then consolidate any changes to the data was hindering any type of valuable insight throughout the company. It wasn’t a uniformed process and CMA’s 10+ budget managers had no idea if and when changes were made to their budgets. If something was cut, they didn’t know the specifics of why or when it happened.
In 2017, CMA’s controller and CPA, Stephanie Valencia, started looking into budgeting tools to streamline budget management and forecasting within Microsoft Dynamics GP. The budget she was working with wasn’t very large, so she thought going with Forecaster would be their best and cheapest option since they already owned the tool. She soon learned that not only would implementation alone double their budget, but Forecaster was outdated and losing Microsoft support. Their Partner recommended Dynamic Budgets.
“I heard Zubin present at GPUG Summit a few years earlier and was very impressed with his knowledge and his solution’s flexibility,” Stephanie shared. “Once I learned how quickly we could be up and running and that the price was within our budget (half of what Forecaster would have been), I scheduled a demo.”
During that demo, Zubin showed Stephanie how the solution would work with their data. After that 2-hour meeting, they had pretty much set up the solution. Once Stephanie got approval to move forward, they were ready to launch Dynamic Budgets within a week!
Stephanie has been using the tool now for over six months and it’s her go-to for pulling any type of data out of Microsoft Dynamics GP.
“I love how Dynamics Budgets is set up. Every single screen within the tool, you can export to Excel,” Stephanie adds. “I’ve been using it for interim audits or to look things up because it’s easier to manipulate data here than with Management Reporter (MR) or Microsoft Dynamics GP. The navigation and export capability to Excel is so easy…it’s really awesome.”
Budget Managers can now see exact specifics to when and why budgets are changed throughout the year. They all have real-time access to the data and it’s a single sign-on tool, so they don’t need to remember another password. Managers can go into Dynamic Budgets and answer their own questions, instead of going to the controller to pull another report.
“We used MR before, but it gave them too much detail to sort through. Now, each budget manager has their own views set up for their budget and can easily see where they stand,” Stephanie says.
CMA just used Dynamic Budgets for the first time to plan out the 2018 budget and have received great feedback from users. Because of the increased visibility, they are able to do more of a forecast budget. In fact, they are already making modifications to their 2018 projections with no hassle at all.
“We’re confident that the 2018 budget will be much more realistic on how the year will be than it has turned out in the past thanks to Zubin and Dynamic Budgets.” Stephanie shares.